Justified Season 4 Review “Money Trap”

Think back to the beginning of the season. Remember when Raylan took up a side job bounty hunting to bring in some extra cash? It was a questionable decision at the time considering he is prohibited by the Marshal’s office from engaging in side jobs. Now that Jody, the man he captured, has escaped and killed the two people transporting him to Florida, it looks like Raylan made a very bad decision by getting involved.

Even so, Raylan would likely prefer to deal with the murderous Jody than have to go see Arlo in prison. Art orders Raylan to go because they need more information on Drew Thompson and Arlo is the only one who can help. The scenes between Arlo and Raylan are usually great. They have a caustic, yet easy banter, and there is always the tension of whether or not they can actually love each other considering what they’ve gone through. The answer on that last question is definitely ‘no.’ Arlo is black-hearted, and Raylan has accepted it – which makes their jabs at one another even more fun.

There are some storyline detours though on the way to the prison. Raylan finds out that Jody is on the loose and tries to track him down, Johnny Crowder learns that Colt did not kill Ellen May, and Boyd and Ava attend the high class swingers party. Let’s go through these in reverse order. Boyd’s and Ava’s night sounds a lot more excited than it turns out to be. That being said, Ava’s stroll past the bedrooms gives a glimpse at some of the more explicit scenes seen on basic cable. FX really seems to be pushing the envelope on this aspect, likely trying to keep up with the premium cable shows. There have been similarly racy seasons on FX’s new show The Americans. Boyd has an unconformtable confrontation with some of the society folks who make it clear to him that he owes his underworld success to their beneficence. After four seasons with Boyd, you know he’s not going to swallow down that spoonful.

The Ellen May story has been quiet for a few episodes, but now that Johnny has figured out she is alive, he’s gained some power that he has been lacking. It will be interesting to see how he tries to work this to his advantage. He could tell Boyd and try to score some points as the messenger. Given his overtures to Wynn Duffy, though, Johnny seems unlikely to pick that option. Alternatively, Johnny can blackmail Colt and try to get him to turn on Boyd. Colt is one crazy s.o.b., so that plan might actually work. Then there’s the question of whether Johnny will want to track down Ellen May. Ultimately, things aren’t going to work out well for good ol’ Johnny. Boyd is going to figure things out and that’ll be the end of the line for him.

As to Raylan and his hunt for Jody, he summed it up best when he said Jody was “armed, dangerous, and an asshole.” The Jody confrontation gave us some spectacular moments. Jody’s escape from the apartment by jumping out the window and landing on the getaway car was impressive. The video that Kenny Flix made of Jody threatening Raylan was hilarious. Of course, the best moment was the old west saloon showdown between Raylan and Jody. Raylan hasn’t gotten to bust out his bad ass side much this season, so his speedy takedown of Jody was well-appreciated.

In the final few minutes of the episode, Raylan went to the prison to see Arlo and offered him a deal. Their exchange was perfect. Arlo asks Raylan,”Didn’t I teach you anything?” Without missing a beat, Raylan replies, “Not really.” There is a moment where it seems like Raylan does have a hope that he and Arlo will be able to work together. When Arlo shuts him down, Raylan tells him that he will be happy when he learns one day that Arlo is dead. It’s a harsh statement and probably the result of the hurt from Arlo kicking him in the teeth again. Still, since we know Arlo tried to murder his own son, you can’t feel too sorry for him that there’s no love lost.
Follow me on Twitter @LaVaudreuil